An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
Comments welcome!

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's been YEARS.

This past weekend, my wife, daughter, and I took a trip to Chicago to visit with family. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip. There's never enough time on these trips to meet up with every one. But we also got to do a few fun things.

I ran Friday morning, 6.5 miles in freezing wind. I was under-dressed for what I'd normally wear. Weather forecasts... Never accurate enough. Anyway, it went well, but later in the day I noticed my left knee having some sensation, like clicking and popping, and it was starting to swell up a bit.

Runner's knee! Otherwise known as chondromalacia patella, or more recently known as patello-femoral syndrome.

Overnight, it got better, the swelling was down and the clicking wasn't there. I went out and ran again, shorter this time (not as much time available on Saturday morning), and it felt fine, but again, later in the day I could feel it. No swelling this time, but that same clicking feeling getting out of the car.

I haven't had this particular issue in some 27 years, ever since I went into triathlon training. Muscle imbalances in my quads were the culprit, with the vastus medialis (that tear-drop-shaped muscle that hangs just over and to the inside of the kneecap) being relatively weaker than the other three muscles and allowing the kneecap to track outward. Bicycling does wonders for keeping that vastus medialis strong, as long as you've got that bike fit right.

I haven't been riding as much as I used to, and coupling that with all the time sitting in the airport (we volunteered to get bumped 8 hours, which netted us $300 each in travel vouchers -- hello next vacation!), on the airplane, and in cars, and it was a minor perfect storm of circumstances.

Now, after a night at home and getting back into normal routines again, it feels okay. I'll run on it today and see how it goes.

I don't see this getting out of hand or knocking me out of training, but it's something I'll have to address and monitor. I'm doing my straight leg raises at my desk (no one can see me doing it), and dosing myself up on ibuprofen.

On another note, I'm closing in on 1000 miles running for the year. Considering that just two years ago I wasn't sure I'd be able to run again, I'm very happy with that. All I have to do is average 3.5 miles a day and I'll get there.

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